Cruise CEOs Join Forces in Bid to Return to Business

On Friday, CEOs of the world’s largest cruise companies participated in a virtual meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and other high ranking governmental officials to discuss strategies to restart the cruise industry. reports that the CEOs of Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC discussed a proposal which would allow the companies to resume operations while attempting to ensure the safety of their passengers. One of the most significant aspects of the proposal, which includes 74 protocols in all, is testing all passengers and crew members for coronavirus between 5 days and 24 hours before boarding the cruise ship. Only those who test negative for COVID-19 would be allowed to board the ships.

Other aspects of the proposal include requiring everyone aboard the cruise ships to wear masks and providing upgraded air-conditioning systems. Cruise ship ventilation systems were partially blamed for the rapid spread of coronavirus in the late winter and spring that left thousands sick and dozens dead.

In addition to the cruise company CEOs and VP Pence, CDC Director Robert Redfield and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar attended the meeting. According to a report about the call, Redfield and Azar expressed support for cruise companies returning to operations, but also advised the companies that they would have to “backstop their venture to resume operations.”